Lego

Over 6 weeks the year 8 classes took part in weekly Lego Based Therapy.  Lego Based Therapy is split into 2 components; language and social interaction.  For both groups we focused on the language and social interaction.

 

When they all found out they would be “playing” with Lego as part of a lesson the majority were keen to start, however once the rules were introduced they were more wary about what they had to do.  The 2 classes I taught both had very different interactions styles amongst themselves.

 

Class 1 (ADHD group):

Week 1 They were split into groups of 3/pairs and it was soon discovered that each group had clear “leaders” and “followers”.  Due to the majority of the pupils in this class having ADHD all groups managed to complete a small model within the space of 45 minutes.  All the pupils struggled with the language needed and all pupils benefitted from a word mat to prompt their spoken language.

 

Mid point The class were much more confident using new language and concepts and were independently supporting each other when giving their descriptions.  Approximately half the pupils in the class were using the word mats while the rest were able to use their own language.  It was also discovered that many had created their “own language” especially when describing the shapes of the bricks etc.  At this point the pupils had started to choose their own pairs/groups of 3 and it had been successful.

 

Week 6 The pupils had shown they were able to choose their own groups and had worked with various peers over the 6 weeks.  For this week they were creating a larger model in a larger group, while others created a small model to add to the “scene”.  All the pupils conversational and interaction skills had improved; most noticeably their ability to wait and tolerate when others hadn’t given a full explanation.  They were also beginning to support each other to take on different roles with minimal verbal support from staff.

 

Throughout the 6 weeks, this group actively asked to take models back to registration if they were incomplete in order to complete them and show their form tutor.

 

 

Class 2 (MLD group):

Week 1 This group were less enthusiastic; however this could be due to the fact that out of 9 in the class only 3 had played with Lego a lot when younger, and so many didn’t have the ‘prediction’ skills and understanding of Lego that that other group had.  This group needed more support with the language.  Although there were some clear leaders, they also needed significant support to ensure they were helping their peers appropriately.

 

Mid point – This class were struggling with the mechanics involved in creating the models and one group was still on their first model.  However all the pupils were becoming more familiar with the language involved and were showing more confidence with the language.  Some pupils were beginning to be able to pick out their strengths within their groups e.g. builder vs architect.

 

Week 6 Again there was an improvement in social interaction and conversational skills; however this was less noticeable than in the other group.  The bigger success with this group was the confidence in using the language and independently extending sentences and asking each other questions in order to understand instructions more clearly.

 

 

Unforeseen challenges

  • Pupils in Class 2 not having used Lego before
  • Fine motor ability needed to go alongside playing with Lego
  • Prediction skills and the ability to “break apart” a picture to understand the smaller components e.g. when given a tyre and wheel knowing to put them together and place at the end of a long piece rather than waiting for the architect to tell the builder.
  • Changes in staffing – as staff needed the knowledge in how best to support the pupils in a specific speech and language therapy based activity

 

Successes

  • Increase in Class 1’s self esteem and confidence
  • Increase in more detailed descriptions
  • Increase in waiting time – the pupils became more resilient to waiting for their peers and became more supportive with peers.
  • Class 2 – wanted to engage in playing with Lego and on the final week 5 pupils asked to take a bigger model back to class to complete

BBC Microbit

The BBc microbit is a fantastic piece of kit that enables all pupils to code regardless of their computing/programming background/knowledge.

Last year I taught the fundamentals of programming and computing to 3 seperate Year 7 classes. 95% of pupils did not know understand the basics, so we introduced the BBc microbit as a way to motivate them to give it a go. As you may be aware our pupils all have a communication and interatcion need, so the anxiety that arises from having to use text based language to that of Kodu (image based) is extremely high.

We began by giving them two introductory lessons to what the microbit is and its components. This allowed pupils to understand the different aspects and their uses.

We then began by using the block editor to create their name and a message when the L and R button are pressed. This was achieved by using step by step teacher led tutorials and through visual aids (screenshots). From this pupils went on to create a random dice generator, a stopwatch and rock paper scissors.

A real benefit of using the BBC microbit is the instant gratification that pupils receive, when they unplugged their Microbit after a successful download of their code. Pupils could not wait to get their hands on it and see if their code in action.

We found it extremely beneficial during the rock, paper and scissors game project. Once pupils had completed their coding and began to play it, pupils were beginning to use life skills that mainstream pupils may take for granted. Pupils were able to negotiate, understand the importance of turn taking, understanding that it is okay to lose, and using math (count) and english (communicate) with each other. Pupils also were able to take constructive criticism and felt motivated to go back through their work and debug it.

 

 

 

Why use Games in Education?

This project was highly successful for the pupils and staff. Pupils who took part in the study are using their new found skills to work and interact positively with each other. Other skills that have been shown by pupils are; Teamwork, Problem Solving, Patience and the expressive use of language.

I feel that the skills/lessons/resources can be used in any school. They can be edited to the needs of your classes. They offer the foundations for learning and understanding the concepts of game creation/designing and planning.

Depending on the needs of the pupils that you teach the resources will have to be adapted to suit them and their peers. I was able to use the same resources across the 3 classes that I taught. Each class had different overall needs (see blog) so the lessons had to be taught at a different pace, use of different peer teach strategies, demonstrations and target led objectives.

The work booklet can also be adapted to the individual needs of your class/pupil.  We included schedules to reduce anxiety and the need to know what their next task was. I don’t know why but some pupils just like the satisfaction of ticking off a box when they know they have completed the work, perhaps this gives them a sense that they have achieved something and you can say “I’ve done it”. We used a lot of visuals and “Communicate and Print”© in order to help pupils with low levels of literacy and communication difficulties. It reduces the levels of anxiety and low self esteem by allowing pupils to associate the image with the word. (E.g.)

 

canp

 

 

The booklet is produced in a way that allows pupils to follow a path of knowledge. It begins with work being deconstructed into smaller achievable tasks, then eventually building up to the task in hand. By keeping tasks small, simple and achievable pupils feel motivated and happy that they have been able to achieve something.

Pupils were given 2x 6 week introductory projects using Kodu and Scratch. This involved all pupils creating the same game with the same controls but with different race courses/backgrounds etc. This allowed pupils to become familiar with the layout, tools and controls, so they did not become frustrated when it came to designing their own game as they had that prior knowledge.

I feel that either Scratch/Kodu could be used for cross curricular activities. This would allow pupils to be using their computing/ICT skills across a number of different topics/subjects. I feel that pupils would enjoy this. The use of games in subject areas such as English, Maths and Humanities, would allow other teachers to use innovative and creative ideas to motivate, influence and lead fun and exciting lessons.

Evaluation

I cannot believe that nearly 6 months has passed since we started doing this project. It has been a truly successful project with all pupils gaining something from it.

All pupils managed to create a game and completed their project evaluations. It was a surprise to see a large proportion of pupils stating that some of the skills that they learnt from this project were both academic and social. For example pupils have stated that they learnt;

  • “I learnt to work as part of a team”
  • ” I improved my communication skills by helpings other out”
  • “I learnt how to communicate with my peers”
  • “I learnt how to solve a problem”

This is a major breakthrough for the pupils as a large majority of them struggle within a social setting. The fact that they can independently and confidently help their peers and be able to use and improve their communication skills is superb.

Surprisingly there was not a large amount of technological difficulties encountered, although I do think the pupils have finally copped onto the idea of ‘turning it off and on’.

I think that external factors did play a major role in this project. Pupils can be influenced by a million and one different things and this was proved on a numerous occasions.Often I had to intervene with problems that had happened outside of lessons to ensure that they had a positive learning experience.

 

Speech and Language

Predictions within SEN:

Independence – The pupils will develop their independence including self-help skills e.g. investigating the program to find solutions, looking back at previous work and actively asking a peer/teacher for support.  By the end all will have developed their independence within this lesson.

Interaction with peers – The pupils will begin to develop their positive interactions with peers e.g. asking for support, using positive feedback and positive comments, constructive criticism.  This will initially be supported by the teacher however with growing confidence in the work and in themselves they will begin to have some small positive interactions with peers with minimal support.  Although this will happen as part of their ICT lesson; the pupils ability to generalise may impede them from being able to consistently take this skill out into their next lesson. It will also be dependent on changes to routine (big or small), mood, issues at home/school and progress in their work.

Self-esteem – As the learning develops their confidence in their ability will develop. This will be supported by the visual (the game created) as a reminder of what they have achieved over a relatively short period of time.  They will be able to compare their hand drawn ideas of their game with the “real thing”.  Difficulties – some pupils may struggle if the game created isn’t exactly how they imagine in their head e.g. like a computer game they play at home, and this will affect their self-esteem.

Verbal communication – As their interaction with peers improves their verbal communication with peers will develop alongside.   Their general language skills e.g. extending their sentences, or supporting their grammar, is unlikely to develop.  However their language and vocabulary in relation to their game and the programming will improve as they become more confident in their abilities and more familiar and immersed in the language.

Difficulties – Due to SEN many pupils will struggle to generalise the above skills they have learnt in the class to other environments without a constant visual to remind them.  Many of the above the skills the pupils in all 3 classes have demonstrated or begun to demonstrate in other lessons or when 1:1 with a teacher, however without the support they are unable to retain the information and generalise it to other social situations; including lessons.  This can be monitored through teacher feedback sheets, especially in the lesson following ICT.

About me

I have been a qualified teacher for nearly 6 years, and have spent 5 of those working in a special education needs school in the south of England.

“Surely you could earn more being a software engineer or doing IT support?” is the most commonly asked question I get asked when I say I have an IT degree and became an ICT teacher. Yes they are probably correct! However I would get bored of asking customers and screaming confused people “Have you tried turning it on and off again?” or “Have you tried Googling it?”. In all honesty I would rather deal with children than adults any day of the week. At least with children they can make light fun of any problem and are enthusiastic of what life can throw in front of you.

I grew up traveling the world since my entrance into this world. My dad was a soldier and spent my early years travelling world from base to base with my younger brother. I used to spend days with my brother visiting my Dad at work, where we would see young tommies/squaddies being beasted and paraded around the drill square. I even remember being told by my father to show a squadron of young soldiers how to march, there I was a 10 year old boy drilling 30 odd blokes around a drill square. It was a hard up bringing, as I would move to a new place,  make new friends and then before I knew it I was saying goodbye and on the road to start the whole process again. I have a lot to thank the army for though, I grew up having interpersonal skills that a lot of adults struggle to get until they got their first job or went to university. By the time I had reached my 7th school by the time I was sitting my GCSE’s I already knew how to be a team-player, possess leadership skills, have good communication skills and manage my time well.

I had always had a knack of working with children since being a teenager. I was always leading activities at a military youth club in Cyprus and seemed to keep hyper, sugar filled kids attentive and focused. I hadn’t thought of becoming a teacher at this point in my life, believe it or not I actually wanted to become a rugby player, after watching Jonny Wilkinson kick the sweetest drop goal of all time.This was short lived however, as I went to sixth form college and took English Language, Psychology, Business Studies and ICT. I wasnt keen on any of them except ICT, where I just seemed to have a natural talent and could confidently navigate around a computer and stuff went in. I understand when my pupils say that information does go in one ear and stay there when you are enjoying it.

I finished college and decided to do the pad-brat thing (Child of a soldier) and join the army. It is very rare for a pad-brat to not join the military, it is something you are automatically accustomed to and have an advantage from non pad brats. I decided to give it a go and signed up as a soldier. I instantly understood the terminology and the way of life. I did a tour of Northern Ireland and Afghanistan before I was 19 and had all the skills I needed (punctuality, team work skills, organisational and communication skills) to see me through in life. I decided I needed a new challenge and became a dreaded student and study ICT at university. It was a culture shock to say the least; not being told what to do, having so much freedom, not having someone scream down your neck and having to cook your own meals.

It wasn’t until I had worked at a summer camp during the summers of university that I finally decided on my future career path. It was being around children day in day out, seeing them strive to be successful, motivating them to climb the wooden climbing frame and dealing with homesickness when it finally sunk in, that this is something I wanted to do for the rest for my life. Having children come up to you, who you had seen cry because they were away from home for the first time or dealing with 10 kids who were strangers at the start of the summer and were leaving as a strong, motivated team by the end was the real reason that I decided to become  a teacher.

I did my PGCE and instantly felt that I had made the right choice. I struggled through the endless paperwork and evidence that is required to make you a “Qualified Teacher”.But besides the endless paperwork, lesson observations and planning, actually teaching the kids, getting to know them and seeing them succeed (if only small steps), made all of the hard worth it.During my second placement I was offered an NQT job teaching ICT and public services, as well as a lovely year 7 tutor group. The ICT and tutor role side was enjoyable. I loved my first tutor group (7TBo), they were an energetic, passionate and hard working group, who were always proud to be a member of my tutor group. I learnt a lot from them, we were both in the same situation; new, scared and wary of the year ahead, but they taught me how to become  a better teacher, role model and mentor.

I really grew and matured as a teacher through teaching public services. I was given a class of 15, moody, unmotivated teenagers at the start of the year and by then end they had all achieved at least a C. They will always be known as that “Class”, yes they were rowdy, moody and sometimes left to their own devices, but they learnt how to become key members of society after that year. They taught me that everyone is different and learn in different ways, some were good at the physical activities whilst others were good at self reflection. Yes there were days where it felt like I was spinning plates and sometimes I wanted to throw them out of the window, but looking back on it, it was probably and will always be my favourite class.

After one year in mainstream, I was given the opportunity to work in an SEN school. To say I was nervous was understatement, I was absolutely bricking it! All of these pupils who were different and not like the pupils I had taught before. I was given the responsibility of taking over the ICT department. The pupils were in all honesty given a boring and dull ICT curriculum that involved the internet and Microsoft Powerpoint. I introduced computing/game creation/e-safety, Microsoft Office projects and image manipulation, as this allowed pupils to broaden their ICT horizons.After a year I was given the responsibility of being the head of year 11. This was a fantastic opportunity and really allowed me to work with specific pupils with a wide range of difficulties and figure out teaching methods, behaviours support and mentoring.

Working in SEN is a truly remarkable and rewarding job. Watching pupils obtain both educational qualification and social skills that we can all take for granted is such an amazing feeling. You are given these pupils in Year 7, who have been forgotten or left to their own devices during primary school and are asked to turn them into fully functioning members of society by the time they leave. This is something that the staff at my school are outstanding at.To see pupils leave with an astonishing amount of qualifications and life experience, and the possibility of a job is the best feeling in the world. It puts the hard graft, tears and sweat into perspective and makes you feel like you have achieved the best thing that life can throw in front of you. To continue to learn, adapt and reflect on your own work is a great a motivator, especially when your best educator is the pupils that you teach.

That is why I became a “Teacher”. However I feel that I am more than that,  I am a mentor, a babysitter, a role model, a photocopier wizard  and most importantly time management king.

Could you get this, when working in IT? I don’t think so!

If you would like any more information regarding this GAMES project or my blog, please feel to contact me via tboardman@stonydean.bucks.sch.uk.

GAMES Project

Before the project begins I would like to talk about how I feel the project will go over the next few months……

I feel that the pupils may run into a few difficulties whilst the project is running;

  1. Technological Difficulties – You can never rely on technology!!! Im sure at some point throughout this project a computer will crash, a software update will be required, pupils will forget his login/password and I am 100% sure there will be a lot of ‘Have you tried turning it on and off again?’.
  2. External factors – The pupils at my school will run into an infinite number of factors throughout a normal day, and each incident/factor/moment can change the way a pupil will learn/act/behave. These could be bullying, pressures from other lessons, changes in a routine, going to bed at 1:00am, not having breakfast, issues with transport, falling out with siblings or parents, lack of support, equipment not working. As you can see, these all have to be dealt with at the classroom door before any teaching can take place.
  3. Time/Timetable – Pupils will only be given 50 minutes of ICT a week and with quite a small timescale in place, there is a possibility that there could not be enough time.
  4. Absences – Pupils could also miss lessons due to illness, doctor/dentist/specialist appointments, transport being late, or annual reviews. Pupils will have to be given time to catch up, this could possibly be done during the school GOAL timetable lesson or during lunch.I know I am away for a few days between now and the summer term, so the consistency and regularity of having the same staff teacher, teach the same course material.
  5. Pupils needs/levels of access – Pupils may find the work hard and have to be taught the course material in a differentiated way from others in their class therefore reducing the amount of time the pupil will have to plan, design and create their game.

What I think will happen…………….

  1. Teamwork – I believe that our school core value will definitely shine through during this project. Pupils who are able to access the work and find it easier than others will feel good helping others, who may be struggling accessing the work.
  2. More pupils will choose Kodu – More pupils will choose Kodu over Scratch and I feel this is because Kodu is a visual based platform that allows pupils with lower reading ages and literacy issues to easily design and create their won game. Their is no complex language used and all choices are clear, bright and easy to read. I also believe that more pupils will choose Kodu as it is 3D and a world like platform which will make it more interactive.
  3. Wide variety of games – Pupils will be a creating a wide variety of games and stories. Pupils will be given the option of creating their own world, characters, terrain, enemies and objects through the aid of their school project booklets.
  4. SEN needs and their choices will differ – We will be given a fascinating insight into what features/aspects of the games will be liked by children with different SEN needs. For example, we have 3 classes completing this project; 1 is a high functioning ASD class (Class 1), 1 is a motor difficulties/processing/physical impairment class (Class 2) and 1 is ADHD/moderate learning difficulties/sensory difficulties class (Class 3).    

Week  1:

(Class 1/2/3) – Pupils were given a word search as they entered the room which reinforced the language and keywords that they had learnt before the easter holiday. Pupils were then given their learning objective and the success criteria of the lesson.

Pupils were introduced to their work booklets and how to navigate around them. They were introduced to their checklists and steps to success. Pupils then read out as a class the project they are partaking in and together we concluded that we were taking part in something that was ‘quite a big deal’.

We then went on to the starter tasks which involved screenshots of both Kodu and Scratch. Pupils were given a screenshot of each software and boxes for them to place the icon names into.

This seemed to go down very well with all classes as it was a lesson which reinforced work from previous lessons. Pupils who finished, happily obliged and volunteered to help other pupils who were working at a slower pace.

Week 2:

This was a week that truly highlights the needs of our pupils and how different they all are.

Class 1: All pupils were able to work at a fairly quick speed and progressed through the screenshot tasks with ease. They seemed to appreciate and work well with the visual screenshots and were able to correctly place the correct terminology into the correct boxes. Some of the pupils were reluctant to help others once they were finished, but a few did help others.

Class 2: This lesson was a slower paced lesson. It involved less of giving them a task and letting them get on with it. Instead tasks were broken into small achievable tasks and class discussions to reinforce learning. Pupils became stuck with the screenshot tasks and were especially confused about what the path tool was. We asked a pupil to stand at the front of the class and be a computer controlled character. The class then placed paper on the ground and gave the pupil a path to follow. After this we are asked a pupil to be a human controlled  character and race against the computer controlled character. The PORIC approach really worked and helped their understanding.

Class 3: What can I say about this lesson? They were mega quick. We managed to get through 4 tasks with ease. I think this is to do with the fact that a large proportion of pupils have ADHD and need to be kept busy, especially with a lesson straight after lunch. Once pupils had finished with their task they were asked to check with a partner, and this allowed the more able pupils to interact and communicate with the less able pupils.

Week 3:

Class 1: All pupils completed the tasks 5-6. These tasks were screenshots of icons form both Scratch and Kodu. All pupils were able to to recall what the icons were and were able to describe them efficiently. It was surprising to see more of the pupils willing to help each other out, especially two of the more able pupils who willingly went out of their way to help a number of pupils who were stuck.

7 out of 9 pupils decided that they were going to be using Kodu over Scratch. This was not a surprise to me! I had an inkling that this class would be predominantly more connected to Kodu, as it is more visual and requires pupils to use images/icons than text. It was also noted that pupils form this class were happy to be using a 3d based game as it was more interactive and gave them more of a chance to create/design their world.  2 of the pupils, however did decide on scratch as their choice of software and their reasoning was that they could create a simpler game and did not involve as much designing.

Class 2: All pupils completed tasks 1-5. Pupils spent a while on the scratch screenshot task, but a number of pupils who had finished agreed to help others and this sped things up. This class is working at a slower pace compared to the other classes, but I think this is a normal and comfortable speed for them to access their work. There was no suggestions as to what piece of software they are going to use as of yet, but we will find out next week.

Class 3: This was a tricky situation today. Class 3’s form tutor/Head of Year was absent, so this meant chaos. A little bit of a change to their routine can seriously affect their effort and behaviour for the rest of the day. Class 3 are a classic example this.

After a brief word and motivational talk, the red faced, over excited and confused pupils were allowed to enter the ICT suite and were given a new word search to complete as a way of calming them down and focusing them on the lesson in hand.

We did not manage to get as much done today as last week, Class 3 managed to complete tasks 6,7, and 8, which felt like a gold medal in the olympics after the start to the day. Class 3 and I discussed what they would prefer to use and discussed the aspects of Kodu and Scratch and it was a 100% record win for Kodu. Reason for this as their choice was the 3D aspect and that they could use images rather than text to help create their game. Next week will start their designing of their game.

Week 4:

Class 1: Did not have an ICT lesson this week as it was May Bank holiday Monday.

Class 2: Pupils had Tasks 5,6 and 7 to catch up on today.This class are motivated and excited to design and create their game. I was late for a lesson as I has had to deal with an incident involving two pupils in my year. So after a delayed start to the lesson, pupils were willing to help each other and showed fantastic teamwork and communication skills by politely asking each other if they needed any help.

Pupils were able to make their mind up as to what features of software that they would like to use and why? There was a 100% success rate for using software that uses 3D components and another all out win for the use of images and the main reason that was given was because it is easier to understand.

Class 3: This lesson went fantastically well. First of all the pupils had their regular tutor and head of year in today, so pupils were focused and no changes or new faces to their routine.

Pupils entered the classroom calmly and were told how there was only one staff member for all 9 them, so they had to be patient and wait their turn. Full credit to them as they were exceptionally patient and because I was busy they automatically were helping each other out. Pupils were asked to design/draw their computer game into an A4 box. Some of the ideas included; shooting games, racing games, collecting games and even a football game. Some of the pupils managed to even get a name for their game, some interesting choices; “Lava Mayhem”, “Mayhem War” “Air Strike” and “The Shooters”.

Pupils worked exceptionally hard today and some key teambuilding and communication life skills were present throughout the lesson. They really are beginning to gel and work together to achieve their overall objective.

Week 5:

Class 1: Pupils were really engaged and focused for this lesson, after having a couple of weeks off due to a May bank holiday last week. Pupils had a quick recap of what we had done so far over the last few weeks/lessons.

Pupils were asked to confirm what piece of software that they would like to use with 2/9 opting for Scratch and 7/9 opting for Kodu. Pupils spent this lesson sharing ideas and collaborating with each other over which game they would like to use and then began to design their world/game in their booklet. It took around 20  minutes for pupils to design their world, with detailed annotations or keys. Pupils spent the last 10 minutes of the lesson actually getting onto their chosen software and began creating their game.

Pupils were in high spirits and their enthusiasm and passion showed through their designs.

Class 2: Pupils were attentive, focused and full of energy for today’s lesson. Class 2 have been behind in lessons/project (this is due to their needs and the slower pace of lessons). They managed to get a lot done in lesson today and they managed to design their game and the concepts behind it. Next week they will begin designing characters and what they will do.

Class 3: I am currently away in Sweden for a trans-national meeting on Thursday and Friday to do with this project. I know their will be behaviour incidents and less work will be completed as it it will be a change to their routine/structure. I will update with how the lesson went, when I get feedback from the cover teacher.

Feedback from Supply Teacher: “The class were exceptionally hyper and were not responsive in the first 10 minutes. I think this was because it was a change to their normal routine and I was not familiar with the structure and routine of the lesson. I had to send 2 of the children to Learning Support as they were not responding very well to my instructions.

Pupils seemed to not want to take part in the designing of the world and instead spent more time focused on wanting to play their game.

Week 6:

Class 1: Pupils finished off designing their game in today’s lesson. They finished off their world/game drawings. Pupils then had time to reflect and design characters/enemies, what objects will be collected and how characters will be controlled. Pupils were very enthusiastic and passionate during todays lesson and their was full commitment from all pupils.

Pupils even took the time to communicate with each other about their designs and how they could improve them or how they could do it differently. Pupils took their peer advice well and in a constructive manner and this led to a large amount of positive conversations

Class 2: This class’ form tutor was absent today as they were not very well. This affected their transition form form time to their ICT lesson as there had been a change to their routine and structure. They were loud and boisterous as they were lining up for the lesson, so after a brief word and a bit of motivation they were able to enter the classroom in a positive manner.

A number of pupils managed to complete their game designs in their booklets and finish off their character designs and how they are controlled.

Three pupils were not here last week, so they spent the lesson catching up and then attempting their designs of their game and characters. Pupils who finished their tasks, then automatically assisted others who were absent the week before or needed help.

Class 3: Pupils were well very well behaved in today’s lesson. They seemed focused and motivated to complete their design work in their booklets. Although there was no support for both the pupils and myself in the lesson, they were very attentive and responsive.

It was fantastic to see pupils voluntarily helping each other out and discussing their design ideas.

Pupils completed their designs ideas and then continued with creating their world and began to insert some of their characters. Pupils then helped each other with each others coding/programming of characters.

Week 7:

Class 1: Pupils were absolutely fantastic lesson.All pupils were able to complete their designs and plans for their game. All pupils are now attempting to create their game on Kodu and Scratch.

Pupils are enjoying spending time designing their world with different terrains and inserting their characters and objects. Pupils were able to independently do this with some help from myself.

Class 2: Pupils were absolutely fantastic lesson.All pupils were able to complete their designs and plans for their game. All pupils are now attempting to create their game on Kodu and Scratch.

However unlike Class 1, this class due to their needs work at a slower pace and struggle if they were given the opportunity to work independently. So from next lesson I am going to be giving them a recap of the tools and features of Kodu, to ensure that they can do some of the game independently. Pupils working well together and are positively interacting with each other.

Class 3: Pupils were brilliant and focused throughout this lesson, considering it is the final day before the half term holidays and the fact they wanted to be in the sunshine, they were brilliant.

One of the pupils had their last lesson today, as his family are relocating to Scotland. This did have a bit of an impact on the other pupils as they wanted to ensure they were saying goodbye and leaving on good terms. They spent the lesson continuing to create their world. Very proud of this class as they are still maintaining their behaviour record and are willing to help each other and work as a team to ensure that they are all achieving their goals.

Week 8:

Class 1; Pupils were back into it after a weeks rest. Pupils needed a brief reintroduction into the project’s aims and kodu and scratch. After this pupils were eager to continue with their game and all are now starting to program their characters/objects/AI’s. All pupils who were using the Kodu platform are racing through it and using it at ease.

It is interesting to see that the two pupils who are using Scratch are finding it difficult to program and in their words “The language is too complicated”, I think this will be bought up in their evaluation

Class 2: This was the first lesson back for this class after having a week off for the May half term. It was a slow start to the lesson as we spent some recapping the objectives of the project, the software choices and their tasks.

Three pupils were finding it exceptionally hard to access the start of the lesson due to Ramadan beginning the night before. The three pupils were told to go for a brief walk around the school grounds to freshen up and be able to reengage in the lesson.

After the brief walk the three pupils entered back into the class and seemed more attentive and focused. All pupils were fantastic and able to independently continue to create their game. A major surprise was a shy, low achieving student, offering his advice and help to more able students.

Class 3: Two pupils were absent in today’s lesson, so this only left 5 pupils in the class. This is allowed more work to be done as they were not distracted and in a weird way the class seemed a lot calmer and a lot more focused.

Pupils have all finished their game worlds and are now beginning to program their characters/objects/enemies and AI. As always all pupils were willing to help each other and discuss ideas that wee good or could need improving.

Week 9:

Class 1: Two pupils were absent from today’s lesson due to illness, so this left only 6 pupils.

Pupils are beginning to wrap things up with their games. Two pupils completed their game today and were working together to work out how best to provide evidence of their game. They decided on providing print screenshots, printing them out, cutting them and then glueing into their booklets.

Two other pupils were in the process of making their finishing touches to their game. The two pupils who chose to use scratch are the last to be completing their games, as they are finding the language aspect very difficult.

Class 2: Pupils were fantastic today and achieved their goal for the lesson. A few pupils have almost completed their games, however a few pupils are still behind as they have spent longer designing their game instead of programming characters and AI’s. I hope for this to be completed by then end of next week, so pupils can begin providing evidence of their games and can begin their evaluation.

Class 3: This lesson was not on today as England are playing Wales in the Euro 2016 football tournament. I think this is  the only time it is acceptable to miss a lesson is when cheering your national sports team.

This class were ahead of Class 2 anyway and were on par with Class 1, so this will be a good opportunity for Class 2 to catch up.

Week 10:

Class 1: Three of the pupils completed their work booklets and their project today. They managed to independently acquire print screenshots of their world, the coding that was needed for their characters and their AI characters. Pupils then completed their evaluations. It was interesting to see that pupils, when evaluating their work were putting down teamwork, communication and leadership skills as things they have learnt and improved upon rather than subject specific criteria.

There are five pupils who are finishing their game and now beginning to make their finishing touches.

Class 2: All pupils are nearing completion of their games. Pupils are going to be given one more lesson (next week) to make the finishing touches to their game. I think the pupils are struggling with the pace of lessons and what is being expected of them. With regards to this class and other classes similar to them, they need work heavily scaffolded and broken down. an example of this was in today’s lesson I showed them how to end/restart  game with a 5 minute demonstration and then they were asked to go ahead and do it. We then had another demonstration about changing the character settings  (speed, health bar etc) for 5 minutes and then they had a go. If I was to teach this class again i would have to continue to break it down evermore into smaller achievable chunks.

Class 3: It has been two weeks since I have taught this class, due to last weeks football match. Pupils were very well behaved, however they lacked a lot of motivation for today. This seemed to be a common picture across school today, I think its because there is a storm brewing and it was hot and muggy.

The overall percentage of the class worked fantastically well and were attempting to motivate their fellow pupils by asking them questions and opinions on their games. Some of the more able pupils even helped the less able pupils to program some of their characters.

Pupils will be given one more lesson (next week) to complete their game and then we will be able to get on with the project screenshots and evaluations.

Class 1: I was absent for this lesson due to personal commitments. I have spoken to the supply teacher that took the lesson and apparently pupils were off task and did not want to complete the tasks that were asked of them.This is not a surprise as it was a change to their routine.

Class 2: Pupils are coming on extremely well and quicker than expected. Pupils will be expected to have completed their games by the end of next lesson and then they will be begin to document their game through screenshots. One of the pupils has really shone through this project and is now a confident team player who is helping others out without asking.

Class 3: A large proportion of pupils have completed their game and are now beginning to document it through screenshots. Pupils are wanting to help each other out and happy to be working as a team. Less able pupils are beginning to challenge the more able pupils about their work.

Class 1: All but three pupils have now completed their project and are helping others with their screenshots and evaluations. It was interesting to see that pupils were stating that they learnt how to work as a team and work on their communication skills aside software specific objectives. Next week I will be filming two of the pupils to obtain their opinions.

Class 2: Pupils were working exceptionally hard in today’s lesson and have to come to the end of them creating and designing their games. Pupils are now onto the screenshots and evaluating their performance throughout the project.

Class 3: Pupils were on fire in today’s lesson. All pupils have managed to complete their screenshots of their work and next week will complete their evaluations. Was fantastic to see pupils helping and assisting each other with the screenshot process. Some pupil even went the extra mile and helped their peers with cutting and glueing.

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